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Location: Ilopango Active Crater (El Salvador)
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El Salvador’s many volcanoes have left several volcanic craters, which, over time, have filled with rainwater. The crater that is most used for scuba diving is ILOPANGO. It presents a rocky, edgy, sandy topography with great cliffs and walls, that can go down to 231 mts (775 feet). Ilopango has several islands that have native and emigrational birds that you can observe while you are traveling to the different dive spots. The water temperature is from (26 Cº) 77 Fº and up all year round and it makes it perfect for scuba diving no matter the time of the year. Even so, we recommend using a 1-3 mm wetsuit.

Several underwater hills are an excellent attraction for the divers who visit us from all over the world. One of these hills is 'CERRO LA CALDERA'; it didn’t make it to the surface during the eruption and the top of the hill is at (11 mts) 35 feet deep. The name “La Caldera” is given because it has hot water outlets with temperatures of more than 120 Fº, coming from the inside of the crater.

Los 'CERROS QUEMADOS' is another interesting place to dive. In this spot, you can see bullet holes from the civil war when the Salvadoran Air Force used the island for target practice for their strafing guns before going to combat. These islands are the product of the crater’s last eruption, around 1880.

Other dive spots in ILOPANGO are Cutename, Atlantis, La Guitarra, Piedra Suelta and El Coronel among others. There is one kind of crab, 10 kinds of fish, several types of algae and fresh water sponges, making this Ilopango a really safe place to dive.

The interesting part is to explore new places and spend a nice day in contact with nature. Volcanic Crater Diving is a MUST experience that all divers need to take back home after a visit to El Salvador!!

Largest Eruptions in the Last 10,000 Years,
VEI Greater Than or Equal to 5.12.
Mexico and Central America

Volcano Country Date VEI Type of Volcano
Ceboruco Mexico 950? 5 Stratovolcano
Ceboruco Mexico 1870 3* Stratovolcano
Michoacan-Guanajuato Mexico 1759 * Cinder cones
Michoacan-Guanajuato Mexico 1943 * Cinder cones
Chichinautzin Mexico 85 BC 2?* Volcanic field
El Chichon Mexico 1982 5 Lava dome
Santa Maria Guatemala 1902 6? Stratovolcano
Ilopango El Salvador 260 6 Caldera
Cosiguina Nicaragua 1835 5 Stratovolcano
Masaya Nicaragua 4550 BC 5 Caldera

Alex Hasbun
IDC Staff Instructor
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Most visitors thought
Ilopango Active Crater was:
Ranked as Fantastic by independant reviews Ranked as Fantastic by independant reviews Ranked as Fantastic by independant reviews Ranked as Fantastic by independant reviews Ranked as Fantastic by independant reviews
Non diving activities: Lots to see and do!
Language: English, Spanish
Money: USD
Stability: Active travel warnings exist for this location (see Lonely Planet)!
More Information: Country Bio from Lonely Planet

Rating: Ranked as Excellant by independant reviewsRanked as Excellant by independant reviewsRanked as Excellant by independant reviewsRanked as Excellant by independant reviewsRanked as Excellant by independant reviews95%
Highest ranked My Blue Planet photo shared by Sushi.
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